IMI Stakeholder Forum: registration open and event mobile app soon available
Registration for the IMI Stakeholder Forum 2015 is now open. The deadline to register is 5 June.
The event will take place on Monday 15 June at the Hotel Crown Plaza Le Palace in Brussels, Belgium.
IMI encourages policy makers, academia, pharmaceutical industry and other sectors in healthcare, SMEs and mid-sized enterprises, patient representatives and regulators, representatives of other public-private partnerships and research funding organisations to participate in this event.
To improve networking opportunities for participants at IMI’s Stakeholder Forum, a new IMI mobile meeting app will be available to download before the event. The IMI app will have information on the agenda, sessions, speakers and participants who agree to share their information. Participants that are interested in using this networking tool will be able to contact fellow members of the audience as well as speakers using in-app messaging. All those registering for the IMI Stakeholder Forum will receive an e-mail notification with the possibility to opt in or out of the app.
- For more information about the IMI mobile app or this event please contact the IMI Events Team at IMI_events@imi.europa.eu.
- To download the latest version of the Stakeholder Forum agenda, please visit the event webpage
IMI cited in 21st century cures draft paper
After a year of consultations, members of the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee has unanimously approved plans for a bill ‘to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of 21st century cures, and for other purposes’. The proposed bill includes provisions to:
- incorporate the patient perspective in the discovery, development, and delivery process;
- foster development of treatments for patients facing serious or life-threatening diseases;
- repurpose drugs for serious or life-threatening diseases and conditions;
- modernise clinical trials;
- break down barriers to increased collaboration and data sharing among patients, researchers, providers, and innovators;
- help the development of personalized and precision medicines so the right patient can receive the right treatment at the right time.
The paper also cites IMI under Subtitle H, which discusses the creation of an independent, non-profit entity called the 21st Century Cures Council. According to point 10, this Council should ‘identify opportunities for collaboration with organizations operating outside of the United States, such as the Innovative Medicines Initiative of the European Union’.
Read a one-page summary of the draft
European Parliament resolution on antimicrobial resistance spotlights IMI
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have overwhelmingly backed a resolution on ‘safer healthcare in Europe: improving patient safety and fighting antimicrobial resistance’ which, among other things, highlights the work and potential of IMI in this important area. The resolution was put forward by Italian MEP Piernicola Pedicini and covers issues such as the use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine as well as in agriculture. Under the heading ‘collaborative approaches’, the resolution states the following:
- Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the pharmaceutical industry to optimise EU partnerships between academia and the pharmaceutical industry, as exemplified by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI);
- Encourages pharmaceutical companies, governments and academia to contribute with their best assets (infrastructure, compounds, ideas and financial resources) to ground-breaking fundamental research and pre-competitive joint projects; believes that the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) should be given the flexibility to explore any new findings emerging from those projects;
- Encourages the further pursuit of private-public collaborations, such as the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) programmes ‘New Drugs for Bad Bugs’, COMBACTE, TRANSLOCATION, Drive AB or ENABLE, in order to harness the power of collaboration.
Read the European Parliament press release
News from the projects
European Lead Factory scoops Bio-IT World best practice prize
The European Lead Factory has won a prestigious Bio-IT World Best Practices prize in the knowledge management category for its Honest Data Broker (HDB) implementation of the ScienceCloud platform from BIOVIA. ScienceCloud HDB is a core technology providing an innovative solution to the particular challenges of this open innovation platform in drug discovery: providing access to ELF’s extensive library with compounds from the pharmaceutical industry and public partners, as well as to details on the screening data, the HDB also provides reassurance to compound and target owners that their intellectual property is protected. The HDB therefore combines fine-grained permissions with efficient access to the vast range of chemistry and biology data it stores, which allows good science to be carried out while safeguarding IP interests. For the Bio-IT judges, the HDB is ‘the only platform in its class’.
This peer recognition coincides with a number of high-impact scientific publications from the ELF chemistry partners in a special issue of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry on ‘Emerging Approaches for the Design and Synthesis of Innovative Small Molecule Libraries’.
This is the second time an IMI project has received a Bio-IT World Best Practice award; in 2014, severe asthma project U-BIOPRED won in the research and drug discovery category.
IMI-funded IT company develops tool to advance autism research
Dutch IT company Noldus Information Technology has developed a new set of tools to make it easier to study and analyse the behaviour of rodent ‘models’ of autism. The tools, which are now available for purchase, were developed and validated through the EU-AIMS project, which is working to speed up the development of new treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Mice and rats that display ASD-like symptoms are used in research to study the causes of autism, how it progresses, and how it is affected by potential drugs. The suite of tools developed by Noldus comprises three elements. The video tracking system EthoVision XT automatically tracks and records movements of animals, while UltraVox XT captures and analyses animals’ calls. Finally, a software package called The Observer XT enables the coding and analysis of behaviours. Users can also hook up an EEG (electroencephalography) system to include brain activity in the analysis.
EU-AIMS has an entire work package dedicated to improving animal models of ASD. The 12 partners in the work package, who come from academia and industry, defined the requirements for the tools. In addition, partners from academia and industry gave feedback to Noldus throughout the design process and tested and validated the tools.
The creation of the tools is a welcome development for the project. ‘We are pleased to see new tools becoming available for behavioural testing of animal models of ASD,’ said EU-AIMS Scientific Director Professor Declan Murphy of King’s College London in the UK. ‘This is what EU-AIMS is about: to advance our research methods in order to accelerate drug discovery and development.’
NEWMEDS video spotlights successes
NEWMEDS, one of IMI’s early projects is drawing to a close and the project has published a video of its final meeting dedicated to the legacy it will leave behind.
NEWMEDS was set up in 2009 to help find new methods for the development of drugs for schizophrenia and depression and was one of the first consortia launched under IMI. During its 5 years, NEWMEDS has shown that fierce competitors can and will work together in a pre-competitive space.
The project brought together top scientists from academic institutions with a wide range of expertise, and partnered them with nearly all major biopharmaceutical companies. It focussed on developing new animal models using brain recording and behavioural tests to identify innovative and effective drugs for schizophrenia; it developed standardised paradigms, acquisition and analysis techniques to apply brain imaging, especially fMRI and PET imaging to drug development; it examined how new genetic findings influence the response to various drugs, and whether this information can be used to choose the right drug for the right patient; and finally, it has developed new approaches for shorter and more efficient trials of new medication – trials that may require fewer patients and give faster results.
NEWMEDS will leave a legacy of over 300 published papers, posters and talks as well as a number of web-based tools for use in drug discovery. The scientific relationships among the project participants will also build the next generation of collaborations and, hopefully, the next generation of compounds to help schizophrenia and depression patients.
- Watch NEWMEDS video and try the tools here
ProACTIVe concludes telecoaching study for COPD patients
The ProACTIVE project has successfully concluded testing in its telecoaching study on physical activity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The goals of the study, which involved over 350 patients, were twofold: to validate the tools developed by the project to capture COPD patients’ experience of physical activity; and to test the effectiveness of telecoaching as a means of increasing physical activity in patients. Telecoaching was carried out via a smartphone app that provided patients with information on their physical activity levels and motivated them to become more active. Patients’ experience of physical activity (amount, difficulty) was captured via special hybrid patient reporting tools developed by the project that combine classic questionnaire items and outcomes from activity monitors. The project is now analysing the data and hopes to be able to report on its findings in the near future.
IMI project events
OrBiTo Open Science Day 1st July – ‘Beyond the BCS based biowaivers’
The OrBiTo project plans an Open Science Day with a regulatory focus entitled ‘Beyond the BCS based biowaivers’. The event takes place Wednesday 1st July, 09.00-18.30 in Chilly Mazarin, France, during the three day 2015 OrBiTo annual meeting. Participants will come from EFPIA partners, universities and SMEs as well as scientists from outside of OrBiTo and regulatory agencies.
The ORBITO project aims to enhance our understanding of how orally-administered drugs are taken up from the gastrointestinal tract into the body, and apply this knowledge to create new laboratory tests and computer models that will better predict the performance of these drugs in patients.
More information about the Open Science Day is available through the following sources:
Join PharmaTrain in Rome
PharmaTrain has teamed up with the International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical medicine (IFAPP) and the Società de Scienze Farmacologiche Applicate (SSFA) to organise a joint event in Rome, Italy on 10-11 June 2015.
The event, ‘Advancing competent professionals in medicines development’, will present the results of the IMI project PharmaTrain. Over the past five years, Pharmatrain has put together a new concept for education in pharmaceutical medicine. Another highlight of the event will be the presentation of a complementary and new personal development programme which will lead to the title of SMD – ‘Specialist in Medicines Development’. The SMD project, a global initiative, will be soon implemented in Italy, Japan and in many more countries.